I Heart My Body – It’s ME

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I Heart My Body

Working with behaviour I understand that the image we have of our own bodies and the pressures we face to conform to some kind of perfection can play havoc with our minds and how this in turn effects our behaviour.

I spend a lot of time with mothers and teenage girls reassuring them that they are beautiful just as they are. I tell my Miss 15 everyday, a few times day how beautiful she is. My Miss 15 is a confident and happy teenager.

I only wish I had been that confident at fifteen years of age, but I wasn’t, I hated my body. I never ever want my Miss 15 to feel like that, or any other teenager or woman.

 

I Hated My Body

My parents loved me, but I grew up with  strict religious guilt, bodies were not to be seen or hardly talked about. I was considered ‘big’ for my age – whatever that means ? I wore braces for 6 years and hence was called plug ugly and Goofy, by children at school. I’d be out with the family and people who had only just met me would say ” Shame about her teeth and her weight, she’d be quite pretty otherwise”  I would just stand there wanting the ground to open up and swallow me up. What gives people the right to say stuff like that?

Part of my role as a child behaviour consultant is making teenagers  and mothers feel great about who they are and giving them to the confidence to hold their head up high and say “This is me and I am so proud of who I am. I am beautiful, strong and speak my mind”


I Heart My Body Today

Eight months after my daughter was born, I woke up one morning and could not walk, I was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, my body was slowly being paralysed. I made a great recovery and I thank my body and my mind’s determination to get better. This was a real wake up call for me and I started to love my body as it was and as is today.

I have accepted my body the way it is, every mark and wobble are there for very good reasons. My floppy stretched marked skin just below my stomach carried two big babies  who I adore so much. My small boobs, oh and thanks to the lady who was fitting me for a bra saying “You’ve got small breast have you  considered implants” No! but I nearly considered round house kicking you.

I have no muscle tone in my legs especially my thighs as I had a hip and leg operation three years ago and cannot exercise or walk for long.

Yet my body everyday gives me the strength both mentally and physically to take care of mum with Alzheimer’s, I’m strong enough to lift her, change her and be there for her.

My body has a working brain most of the time. I study, I write and work with behaviour with a never ending passion.

My children, my husband, my family and friends love Nathalie just as I am and so do I.

PS: Yesterday I did have photos taken in the garden in my undies by hubby, with the children and my mum watching and  laughing hysterically.

I decided not to publish them, mainly because of my job and my clients. I work with many families, from different backgrounds and cultures and did not want to compromise my working relationship with them.

If you are ever over at my house I’d be happy to show you with a large glass of red to add to the giggle factor.

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Nathalie Brown

Child Behaviour Consultant at Easy Peasy Kids
Child Behaviourist and researcher. Creator of "Less tantrums. More smiles". I look at the bigger picture and think outside the box when working with children and their behaviour. Their world is different. As adults we sometimes forget this. Happiness Creator in my spare time. Eater of chocolate and cake.

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Comments

  1. You are incredible Nathalie.

    Your courage and love in caring for your Mum, your passion for your work, your love for your kids… Totally inspiring. And you have a beautiful body that has served you well. xox

  2. That Guillain-Barre Syndrome sounds scary, especially when you’ve got a little one to look after! Glad you got through that.

  3. Well written post Nathalie, I get the message about us loving our bodies and I am in awe of those who have the courage to post their bodies online. To send a message to others about acceptance and loving their bodies.
    I feel immense sadness for people who are judged by their looks, weight or disfigurement because society has a warped view of beauty.I just wouldn’t Or couldn’t as I have a genetic disorder and I have always struggled with my body image since a very young age. I still do.

    • Trish, it is hard to accept our bodies and like you say the bombardment from society of what is beautiful, doesn’t help. I was reading your blogs and your body has done so much and you are beautiful inside and out. xx

  4. That’s a lovely post, Nathalie. I don’t know how you do it… I think I’m just lucky that my body has survived what I’ve done to it over the years. Maybe one day I’ll start taking better care of it…

    • Thank you Dorothy :) I don’t think I do anything too different to anyone, not sure I quite look after my body as well as I’d like, red wine and chocolates always seem to win. xx

  5. I Heart You, gorgeous thing xxxx
    Can’t believe some of the things people say, but in my experience, the old-school Europeans just call it as they see it without thinking very much about the consequences.
    Love to you, special lady.

    • Ahhh my European family, didn’t even cross my mind what they use to say. I think I became immune to their raw and just saying how they see things comments, they are still very like that today.
      It’s the way they speak and it’s like that with everyone “no holds barred” xx

  6. I love the way you’ve written this. I have a sister and I remember all the body comparisons growing up “you’re not as petite as your sister”. Why do people do that? Great post.

    Kirsty

    4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    • It’s hard when people compare you when you are growing up. Especially as children develop at different rates and spurts. Thanks fo reading

  7. All of these ‘Heart my body’ posts have been a real wake up call for me. I’m in awe! You always present as someone with intelligence and a beautiful heart…Totally dig it x

  8. It’s because of my daughter I want to have good health. I want to be here for a long time to watch her grow.

    It’s because of her that I choose my words carefully when I talk about why I don’t want to eat certain foods, and why I am trying to lose weight.

    I tell her she is beautiful, both in terms of her physical and emotional self. I also tell her she is clever and funny, and I worry sometimes if I say these things too much and if the words of others will lead her to question my saying these things.

    Mostly, I want the world to change so that she doesn’t go through the feelings that so many of us have. I think, in some ways, the world is a better place for us girls because of the women they have helping them through it. :)

    • Amanda everything you say really resonates with me. As I had body issue growing up, I really wanted my daughter not to have these. Now she is 15 I am in awe of her confidence in her body. I don’t think you can say too much to your child they are beautiful. xx

  9. Great post. I’m in awe of everyone who participated in I heart my body.

    My Girl Child is 8 and last week started saying that an item on clothing made her look fat. I was devastated. We tell her everyday that we love her and that she is, smart, beautiful etc.

    I hope that she pays more attention to what we are telling rather than what she has heard elsewhere.

    • With media images everywhere it is hard to protect our children from these so called perfect bodies. I have heard children as young as four say they look fat, which is just so sad. Role modelling is the way to go and building up confidence that what counts is on the inside and that we all are unique and different.

  10. Gorgeous woman! So much of our social ‘worth’ is placed on the external. Already my daughter wants to wear things “to look pretty” and she’s not even 4. Sigh.

    • It is a shame that so much is placed on outward appearance, I think lots of little girls want to be pretty and that’s ok as long as they learn to be pretty from the inside too.

  11. Natalie says:

    You do an amazing job of looking after your Mum and two children! Plus working and looking after yourself too.
    I have a little girl, and I would love for her to grow up confident that she is beautiful, lovable and wonderful. I want to keep reminding her how gorgeous she is, and to do that I need to be a positive role model myself.
    Thanks for this beautiful post which reminds us of how to do that x

    • Thanks for your lovey words. Definitely role modelling ourselves is how our children pick up how to be confident with who they.xx

  12. You’re amazing Nathalie! I’m glad your hubby, mum and kids could join in your photo shoot! I’m not too sure what my mum will say about my undie-clad photo. Hubby is fully supportive though. I’m glad you feel better about your body now – teen years are never easy!

  13. Nathalie I so enjoyed reading this. You’re an inspiration.

  14. you’re gorgeous. I loved the bit where you wanted to round house kick the bra fitting lady. hahaha

  15. Good on you… 25 years on and I’m still struggling. I think back to when I was 15 and wish I’d not covered my then “gorgeous” body with sloppy jumpers and t-shirts – when now I’d love to find something that flatters my curves and makes me feel sexy.

    Maybe three pieces of paper is the sexiest outfit of all (I won’t ask hubby’s opinion though – it might give him ideas).

    Keep up the good work, helping young girls to get comfortable with their bodies. Your understanding of what your amazing body can achieve is a great role model!

  16. This is my favourite I <3 my body post.
    I love how confident you are and how far you have come.
    I love that you also maintained your professionalism whilst sharing something so personal.

    x

  17. Recovering from an illness such as Guillain Barre, you would certainly know not to take your beautiful, amazing body for granted. I love your work Nathalie. I read your blog often. x

    • Thankyou Lee for your beautiful comment, I try not to get my bosy for granted, seems to love chocolate a little too much though x

  18. I think you are beautiful too – inside and out! Nicole x

  19. Wow! Nathalie! What an amazing lady you are. You’ve been through a bit and come out guns ablazing! I totally understand about not publishing the pics due to your work. But I’m picturing you naked right now lol, just kidding.. maybe 😀 I too hope I can instill in my daughter a healthy appreciation of her own body. I have had so many struggles with it myself since I was young.

    • Thankyou for your lovely words. Personal body image is a struggle but what we see in the mirror does not reflect the person inside. We are very critical of ourselves and notice every little thing, when others we meet couldn’t give a hoot or cannot see what we see. Being who you are is a lot more valuable than what you look like xx

  20. Alicia Webster says:

    I agree with you on this issue, and I am saddened by how many women (and girls) don’t enjoy their lives because they are consumed with their negative body image. According to society’s standards, I should hide myself in a closet and refuse to come out. But I simply don’t have time for that business. This less-than-perfect body netted me one fabulous husband, three incredible kids, and one wonderfully happy life. I don’t know that many people really understand that, as far we know, this is it. Just the one life. So I refuse to devote one minute to worrying about anything that either I can’t change, or that isn’t important enough to me to change. Love and be loved. Stop worrying about your thighs, ladies :)

    • What an inspirational comment ! There will always be “society’s standards” and its learning and teaching that what counts is a good heart xx

  21. Claire Lewis says:

    This post speaks to me so much, where I am right now. I look heaps better now than I did before I got pregnant with my first a few years ago, but I feel better now than I did because of the strength and confidence I feel in what my body can do!
    And I agree, it’s time we stopped being ashamed of ourselves and taught our girls the confidence we never had :)

  22. Sandra says:

    I am always amazed when people say no to the occasional small piece of birthday cake because they are dieting (always women by the way). Okay they have much more will power than I do but are they actually happy!

  23. Jessica Yeo says:

    Since having a baby 14 months ago I look at myself differently… in a much better way. This body made a human. This body delivered said human with little help. This body has changed. This body has smaller, less full breasts since we started to wean.

    This body is actually a better version of what it was 2 years ago for a variety of reasons and I wouldn’t change an inch of it. This body makes me proud.

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